My insides are all wrong

There is a fat old lady with a mustache
using a thigh-master on my lungs.
She is too fast and too slow- never in rhythm.
I beg for mercy.
She can’t hear me over the television.

My eyes are controlled by
A few stupid fairies who still can’t make sense of the world.
They like to draw on the backs of my eyeballs
and poke me with their tiny arrows.

My brain is actually one of those plastic globs
made to look like fatty tissue
that they keep in doctors offices
to teach kids how much 5 pounds of fat really is.

But my heart is real.
A young girl curls her naked body around it.
She is cold and hungry and sad.
Sometimes the heart warms her,
sometimes she freezes it.
She won’t let me near it.

Somewhere deep behind my pancreas,
There is a crazed woman locked in a tiny cage.
I’ve shoved her deep down
But I can hear her…

I feel guilty keeping her in
She knows I can hear her
She knows that I care
She pleads her case
Over and over.

She tells me that she is the real me.

She can never be free.

Clip from League of Gentlemen of Tubbs screaming "my insides are all wrong!"

Is stigma holding me back?

Sometimes I read scientific studies. By “sometimes”, I mean all day. And by “scientific studies”, I mean random articles on the internet.

Aside from powerful blogs written by women in my shoes, my impression from reading recent ‘news’ articles about mental illness has been that the worst part of having a mental illness is having to face the “stigma” of mental illness.

I know that stigma is a problem. I know that my parent’s inability to help me is rooted in stigma. But, bipolar is also a problem. Having it hurts. It hurts a lot. and no amount of green ribbons is going to make that pain go away.

Just saying…

facing stigma is the worst part of having bipolar disorder? false. losing your mind is the worst part of having bipolar disorder.

There are no words

How do you describe a flavour that has no taste?

There are no words to describe this heavy pain that I am carrying. It is intangible. It is invisible. It has no flavour, no smell, no colour. Even I cannot see it. But I know that it is there. Sitting heavily on my chest.

Everything seems fine. I seem fine. I feel fine. But then, suddenly, I’m not fine anymore – I’m insane. I’m about to burst, I can’t bear it another moment. And then, just as quickly as it came, I’m fine again.

Insight is an interesting thing. I take some comfort in the memory that it will pass, but there is still fear in the knowledge that it is sure to come back. I can’t quite describe what ‘it’ is right now. It is not the overt tears and overwhelming emotions that it used to be.

Now it is just a very quiet, subtle death that happens inside me sometimes while I go about my day in my very lovely life. Like I’ve just died and no one can see and I don’t want to let them know because it will only cause them pain. And I know that no good will come from bothering them with this temporary death. So I’ll just try to smile. or not. But either way, I’ll just keep moving forward, doing the things I’m supposed to be doing.

And I will remind myself that it is helping them- my facade. My presence here, looking okay, acting like I’m not in so much pain, it’s good for them. It’s what they need – to believe I’m okay, even if they sort of know I’m not. And it’s not like I’ve got anything else to do anyway. If I’m just sticking around for their benefit, I may as well make them feel good about it. As much as I can.

This just hurts so much. I can’t measure it. I can’t express it. I can’t even cry. (The tears just won’t come.)

What more is there really to say?

My life is great. I have everything I could ever ask for. And I am numb to it all. fin.

drawing of a woman with a colourful beam shooting onto her back.

There is no more running away

I pedaled quickly
The crisp autumn wind on my face
The wet leaves falling to the ground like a gentle rain
Creating a carpet of yellow petals under my thin tires
I tried to see the beauty
But I couldn’t catch my breath.
I couldn’t get away.

Once, I pedaled to my freedom
I pedaled away from the pain
Away from the witch that hounded me, away from the prison walls.
But now I can’t get away.
I will never be able to get away.

I can’t outrun the demons that haunt me now –
I can’t outrun them,

Because they have no legs;
The demons are in my head.
They are here to stay.

On my bike,
In my life,
I am alone with them.
There is no more running away.

We stopped checking for monsters under our bed when we realized they were inside of us.

525,600 minutes

I’ve been listening to the music from Rent lately. (Because I have ocd and I first got the cd for my 15th birthday (100 years ago), so I have to listen to Rent every year in the fall.)

I love the play. I know it by heart. (I’m actually rehearsing for a one woman performance of Rent on the milk crate at yonge and dundas. Just waiting for the homeless guy dressed as santa to give up the spotlight/milk crate for me.)

One of the themes from the play that is speaking to me today is “how do you measure a year?” This season is a reflective time of year. This year, with my move to an actual house, I’m actually noticing the season. There were no trees near my condo but now I have a yard and a residential street full of yellow leaves and it feels like fall.

It makes me remember where I was last year. Has it been a good year? a hard year? a year of recovery? a year of pain? There were so many different pieces of each month, each day, each minute…How do I measure the year? In cups of coffee? In paperclips, in post-its, in pills?

I take a lot of pills. I don’t really know where this post was going to go. I’m actually having a hard time getting my thoughts into words. I want to write but stringing the text together isn’t really happening for me right now.  

I feel like if I didn’t have my meds and willpower (or maybe just meds) I would just explode like a rocket blowing it’s top. But even though I’m simmering, my lid is being held on. Like a pressure cooker that I’m not going to open. 

My head feels cloudy. It’s just full of cotton. But my body feels strong and slim. I feel like I could run a marathon and then build a house and then enjoy a refreshing drink of ice water and go for a swim across a lake. Am I rambling? I spent $12 on chocolate bars today. I just had to have them all.  I only ate one- so far.

What was I saying? Right… cups of coffee. There were lots of cups of coffee this year.

A year ago, my marriage and my future were on very shaky ground. There was so much uncertainty. I didn’t know if I was going to make it through the tornado. Now I think I’ve made a bit of peace with the tornado. Like I’ve got a backpack for it and I’ve built up my muscles so that I can carry it around now while I go through the motions of ‘normal’ life.

So, like we learned from Rent, let’s measure the year in LOVE.

measure your life in love

I learned a lot about love this year.

I learned that I can save my children if I learn to love them more than I hate myself. So I learned to love myself.

I learned to accept love from my husband and give it right back to him. Measure in love… seasons of love…525,600 minutes…how do you measure the life of a woman or a man?… in truths that she learned or in times that he cried… let’s celebrate, remember a year in the life of friends… remember the love. measure your life in love.

lyrics from No day but today

ps. I really wanted to post this image: but I thought I should end on an optimistic note. Even though these very real fears are lingering: 

Will i lose my dignity? Will someone care? Will I wake tomorrow from this nightmare?